IMPLICATIONS OF MASLOW'S THEORY FOR EDUCATION
Ø The relationship between deficiency needs and growth needs
Ø Obviously, students who are very hungry or in physical danger will have little psychological energy to put into learning
Ø Schools and government agencies recognize that if students' basic needs are not met, learning will suffer
Ø They have responded by providing free breakfast and lunch programs. The most important deficiency needs, however, are those for love and self-esteem.
Ø Students who do not feel that they are loved and that they are capable are unlikely to have a strong motivation to achieve the higher-level growth objectives, such as the search for knowledge and understanding for their own sake or the creativity and openness to new ideas that are characteristic of the self-actualizing person.
Ø A teacher who can put students at ease and make them feel accepted and respected as individuals is more likely (in Maslow's view) to help them become eager to learn for the sake of learning and willing to risk being creative and open to new ideas.
LOCUS OF CONTROL AND SELF-EFFICACY (Rotter, 1954).
The word locus means location
A person with an internal locus of control is one who believes that success or failure is due to his or her own efforts or abilities
Someone with an external locus of control is more likely to believe that other factors, such as luck, task difficulty, or other people's actions, cause success or failure
Internal locus of control is often called self-efficacy, the belief that one's behavior makes a difference
Locus of control or self-efficacy can be very important in explaining a student's school performance
It is important to note that locus of control can change and depends on the specific activity or situation
One difficulty in studying the effects of locus of control on achievement is that achievement has a strong effect on locus of control
IMPLICATIONS OF ATTRIBUTIONS AND SELF-EFFICACY FOR EDUCATION
In the classroom, students receive constant information concerning their level of performance on academic tasks, either relative to others or relative to some norm of acceptability
This feedback ultimately influences students' self-perceptions
Attribution theory is important in helping teachers understand how students might interpret and use feedback on their academic performance and in suggesting to teachers how they might give feedback that has the greatest motivational value
IMPLICATIONS OF EXPECTANCY THEORY FOR EDUCATION
Tasks for students should be neither too easy nor too difficult
If some students believe that they are likely to get an A no matter what they do, then their motivation will not be at a maximum
Similarly, if some students feel certain to fail no matter what they do, their motivation will be minimal
Therefore grading systems should be set up so that earning an A is difficult (but possible) for as many students as feasible and so that earning a low grade is possible for students who exert little effort
Success must be within the reach, but not the easy reach, of all students
How can achievement motivation be enhanced?
Achievement motivation = the generalized tendency to strive for success and to choose goal-oriented, success/failure activities
Even after they experience failure…
Ø Achievement-motivated students will persist longer at a task than will students who are less high in achievement motivation and
Ø Will attribute their failures to lack of effort (an internal but alterable condition) rather than to external factors such as task difficulty or luck.
Ø Want and expect to succeed;
Ø When they fail, they redouble their efforts until they do succeed.
Something to Think About…???
Does high achievement motivation lead to success in school, or does success in school (due to ability or other factors) lead to high achievement motivation?
Each contributes to the other…!
Success breeds the desire for more success, which in turn breeds success.
In contrast, students who do not experience success in achievement settings will tend to lose the motivation to succeed in such settings and will turn their interest elsewhere (perhaps to social activities, sports, or even delinquent activities in which they might succeed)
Achievement motivation tends to diminish over the school years
Ø This trend is due to the nature of children???
Ø Or to the nature of middle and high schools???
Motivation and goal orientations
Some students are motivationally oriented toward learning goals (also called task or mastery goals)
Others are oriented toward performance goals.
Students with learning goals see the purpose of schooling as gaining competence in the skills being taught
Students with performance goals primarily seek to gain positive judgments of their competence (and avoid negative judgments).
LEARNING VERSUS PERFORMANCE GOALS
Students with learning goals and those with performance goals do not differ in overall intelligence
But their classroom performance can differ markedly
When they run into obstacles, performance-oriented students tend to become discouraged and their performance is seriously hampered
In contrast, when learning-oriented students encounter obstacles, they tend to keep trying, and their motivation and performance might actually increase
Teachers should try to convince students that learning rather than grades is the purpose of academic work…How???
This can be done by emphasizing the interest value and practical importance of material students are studying and by de-emphasizing grades and other rewards
SEEKING SUCCESS VERSUS AVOIDING FAILURE
Atkinson (1964), extending McClelland's work on achievement motivation, noted that individuals might be motivated to achieve in either of two ways:
Ø To seek success
Ø To avoid failure
He found that some people were more motivated to avoid failure than to seek success (failure avoiders)
Others were more motivated to seek success than to avoid failure (success seekers)
Success seekers' motivation is increased after a failure, as they intensify their efforts to succeed
Failure avoiders decrease their efforts after a failure
Failure avoiders is that they tend to choose either very easy or very difficult tasks
Understanding that it is common for failure avoiders to choose impossibly difficult or ridiculously easy tasks for themselves is very important for the teacher
For example, a poor reader might choose to write a book report on the classic epic novel but then, when told that was too difficult, might choose a simple children's book. Such students are not being devious but are simply doing their best to maintain a positive self-image
Learned helplessness and attribution training
An extreme form of the motive to avoid failure is called learned helplessness
a perception that no matter what one does, one is doomed to failure or ineffectuality: "Nothing I do matters."
In academic settings, learned helplessness can be related to an internal, stable explanation for failure: "I fail because I'm stupid, and that means I will always fail"
Learned helplessness can arise from…
Ø A child's upbringing
Ø Inconsistent, unpredictable use of rewards and punishments by teachers (a pattern that can lead students to believe that there is little they can do to be successful)
Teachers can prevent or alleviate learned helplessness by giving students…
(1) Opportunities for success in small steps;
(2) Immediate feedback; and
(3) Consistent expectations.
CHANGES IN ACHIEVEMENT MOTIVATION
Motivation-related personality characteristics can be altered
They are altered in the natural course of things when something happens to change a student's environment, as when students who have vocational but not academic skills move from a comprehensive high school in which they were doing poorly to a technical preparation program in which they find success.
Such students might break out of a long-standing pattern of external locus of control and low achievement motivation because of their newfound success experience
Late bloomers, students who have difficulty in their earlier school years but take off in their later years, might also experience lasting changes in motivation-related personality characteristics, as would students who are initially successful in school but who later experience difficulty keeping up
Several studies have found that learned helplessness in the face of repeated failure can be modified by an attribution training program that emphasizes lack of effort, rather than lack of ability, as the cause of poor performance